Pakistan

US Senate body wants Pakistan to pay total price of F-16 deal

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan itself will have to pay for the eight F-16 fighter jets which are being brought from the United States after the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee stopped Washington from paying its half of the deal, ARY News reported.

According to details, for the eight fighter jets worth $700 million, Pakistan had to pay $270 million and remainder $430 million of the cost was to be paid by the United States . However, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Bob Corker has stopped the American administration to make its part of the payment for the jets.

Corker had notified the Obama administration that he would not approve using U.S. funds to pay for the planes under the foreign military financing (FMF) program.

Moreover, U.S. Congress has also  suspended the $742 million aid for the Pakistan Army as well.

Pakistani Embassy in the United States has said that the fighter jets are crucial for the country in the war against terror and it is necessary to build the capacity of Pakistani security forces to curb terrorism.

F-16s would allow Pakistan’s Air Force to operate in all-weather environments and at night, while improving its self-defense capability and bolstering its ability to conduct counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations.

On 22nd October 2015, the U.S. administration announced to sell eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in order to bolster a tenuous partnership between the two countries.

Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Khawaja Asif has said that the Indian lobby did not want Pakistan to obtain F-16s.

India had said it was disappointed with the U.S. decision. “We disagree with their rationale that such arms transfers help to combat terrorism,” Vikas Swarup, a spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry, had said on Twitter.

The U.S. government had formally published a federal notification in May this year for the sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to the South Asian country. The notification read, “This proposed sale contributes to U.S. goals by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia.”

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